On the Left

Radical Feminism and the Left

Feminism (including radical, marxist, socialist and anarchist) has been an essential part of the broader progressive movement for social justice from the Second Wave of feminism in the 1960s through to the present. Women’s liberation puts front and center the question of female liberation, i.e., how to end female oppression and subordination by a patriarchal society, therefore raising important issues for the left since the left is typically concerned with class struggle, class consciousness and movements for justice & liberation from oppressive systems of power.

Thistle with a 2011 Capitol Occupation buddy at the Hands Off Venezuela rally- February 2019, Madison WI

For these reasons, we are disturbed by the recent demonization, intimidation, and harassment of radical and lesbian feminists including Thistle Pettersen, a long-time environmental organizer, and musician in Madison, Wisconsin. Certain segments of the transgender community and their supporters have attempted to silence feminist voices which has had had a chilling effect on the ability to engage in open discussion and debate on complex issues of sex, gender, and sexuality, a debate that is sorely needed to bring about real social justice in our communities.

Thistle holding up a Madison Action for Mining Alternatives banner to fight corporate resource extraction in Wisconsin

As socialist, anarchist and progressive feminists and allies, we are committed to building a united movement of the left rich in our diversity capable of creating a just, democratic, and egalitarian society freed from all forms of oppression and discrimination. To build such a movement for fundamental change will require an atmosphere of support of women and feminism, mutual respect, and an ability to tolerate political differences among our movement sisters and brothers. It will also require a willingness to engage in open debate and discussion in order to find common ground and build solidarity among various oppressed groups with at times divergent interests.

If you are committed to building a united movement of the left rich in our diversity capable of creating a just, democratic, and egalitarian society freed from all forms of oppression and discrimination sign our petition site today.

In defence of lesbian rights: a veteran US activist speaks

Despite legal progress, right up to gay marriage, it’s never been harder to be a lesbian in my whole lifetime than it is now. This is thanks largely to the activities of these men and the widespread new acceptability on the left for anti-lesbian bigotry. – Ann Menasche

“As feminists who have been critical of the concept of ‘gender identity’ for many years, we have been exasperated and concerned that groups and individuals on the Left, who claim to be materialists, have embraced this ideology with little or no analysis of its merits.” See the full article in Meeting Ground On Line.

COMMUNISTS called for protection of women’s spaces and preservation of “separate spaces and distinct services to protect women from violence and abuse” today.

The party’s biennial congress said that women’s rights won over decades of struggle were “under sustained ideological attack,” thanks to the “growth and ascendancy of neoliberal philosophy across a range of intellectual fields.”
It adopted a resolution expressing concern at “the divisive debate around self-identification which conflates ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ which could threaten the rights of women and girls” and committed members to fight for a wider understanding of these problems in the labour movement.

In 2017 Chris Hedges Interviewed Marylou Singleton and Maya Dillard about the impact of gender-identity legislation on women and girls.

Listen to the full interview here.